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wine-rack-wine-storageWelcome to spring. Everywhere I look people are gearing up for their big spring cleaning. I see retailers showcasing organizational items such as, bins, containers and storage solutions.  Magazines are touting tips to rid your space of clutter.  It’s time to get organized and that means organizing your wine too.

There are many people (not me) that have every bottle of wine labeled and stored properly. The lucky ones even have wine cellars or at least wine fridges.

I live in an apartment in San Francisco. My wine storage system consists of wherever there is an empty nook or cranny that I can stash a few bottles. I have a wine rack. This contraption only holds 8 bottles and is more decorative than functional.

Sometimes I am blessed to have triple and quadruple the amount that my wine rack can handle. Other times I’m down to my last three bottles and the rack mocks me with its empty slots. Either way, my wine storage solution is not working for me. If you are also an urbanite with very limited space, you might be wondering what wine storage options you have.

I was looking around at local retailers that offer general storage options – Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, The Container Store and others, and found that I might be able use some of their products. But they weren’t ideal for me, so I looking online and found a world of wine racks for every need.

Although I haven’t decided on the perfect one for my needs yet, I can share with you what to look for:

Determine your wine storage needs

Assess how much wine you typically have on hand. There is no sense is buying a small rack if you have much wine to store.

Allow room for additional bottles – especially if you entertain a lot or are thinking about adding to your collection.

You also need to allow for flexibility. You can think about a system that lets additional pieces be added on. My hesitation here is that whatever I pick will be unavailable or discontinued in the future. So, if I was going that way, I would need to purchase the extra pieces when I bought the initial unit.

Red Wine or White Wine — or Both?

Think about what kind of wine you typically drink. I am definitely in love with the reds – Cabs, Pinots, etc. – so I’m not too worried about temperature.

My priority is simply to insure that whatever storage I select can be placed in a location that is cooler, darker and not subject to drastic changes in temps. If you’re a white wine enthusiast you may want to consider chilling unit.

Some of these wine storage coolers (a.k.a “mini wine cellars”) have dual temperature zones:  one for reds and one for whites.  No matter your wine selection for the evening, it will be served at just the right temperature.

Space Limitations

Because space, for me, is at a premium, I am looking for options that are more functional than decorative.

You should pick the exact location where you will be storing the wine and find an option to fit that space.  If you're going for a wine cooler, you'll consider under the counter options (built in is nice, but costly) or a free-standing wine cooler that you can place in a corner.

If you have space on the wall but no places for storage elsewhere, a wall-mounted wine rack may do the trick.  (And if you choose the right wall mounted wine rack, it can double as gorgeous wine art, too!)  Quick tip:  Measure, measure, measure. You’ll want to be sure whatever you purchase will fit in that area.  Even if it’s just feet of vertical space in the back of a hall closet – you’ll need to make sure you measure accurately.

Function vs. Style

Of course, I want my wine storage to look nice but that is not my top priority. If decorative value tops your list, you may want to consider getting two wine racks – one for displaying a handful of bottles in the kitchen or dining area and then one for actual storage of your bottles. Also, if you put your wine on display, you may find bolder guests that have imbibed already could opt to open bottles from your display case. Believe me; I had this happen several times.

Whatever wine storage option you select be sure to keep it stocked with excellent selections from your favorite wine club.

If you could use a suggestion, we have a couple favorite wine clubs that help you fill your wine cellar with delicious wines.  I suggest you consider a case club, that delivers a case of wine at a time.  You get the biggest bang for your buck and your cellar gets stocked with great wine.

A couple “case of wine” clubs that I really like lately are The Virgin Wine & Music Experience Club and the well-known WSJ Wine Club.


This article was written by my great friend, and fellow wine lover, Lisa Picarille.

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